Valencia Opera House, a cultural and Arts Center designed by Santiago Calatrava. Valencia-born world-famous architect Santiago Calatrava was commissioned for the project, which was started to be one of the most magnificent buildings in the city of Valencia. The Valencia Opera House, where Calatrava began his design in 1995, was completed in 2005.
The Valencia Opera House is the latest piece in the city of Arts and Science Complex, which can be translated as the city of Arts and Science. The complex is located on an area of 348,000 square feet on a dry bed of the Turia river. The Opera House is located at the western end of the complex. This complex also has a planetarium and Science Museum. The new cultural center, located in the middle of the Nazaret region, a coastal settlement with the old city center of Valencia, aims to combine the city center with coastal settlements and give the city a dynamic new focus.
Calatrava’s design serves both as a Major Performing Arts Center in the city and as an urban icon reflecting Valencia’s dynamic identity. A 1,706-seat auditorium, a 380-seat chamber music stage, and a 1,520-seat film hall equipped with the most advanced equipment are located inside the main building of the Valencia Opera House, where Opera, Ballet and music performances will be staged. The second structure, located next to the main volume, has a 400-seat theater stage reserved for experimental theater and dance performances, as well as gallery areas where works of art are displayed.
Calatrava emphasized monumentality in his design in order to emphasize the cultural importance of the opera house he designed. It gives the structure a combination of random volumes under two symmetrical cut concrete shells. At the top of the formed mass, a steel curved plate stands at the top of the structure like a crown and gives the volume its final shape. The outer shell of the structure acts as an acoustic wall for Open performance areas above the masses.
The shell that surrounds the structure covers the terraces and halls above the volumes. The volumes under the Shell are flanked by a horizontal promenade leading out of the cantilever. The main auditorium of the Opera house was designed in the form of a second shell to enhance acoustic performance and integrated into the core part of the main volume. This core also has technical elements that allow the stage of the auditorium to be moved/changed. Above the Chamber Music Hall, a rehearsal room covered with tamanen glass with sound insulation was designed. Santiago Calatrava installed permanent installations of his own design in the central areas of the building.
The concrete shell, which forms the identity of the Valencia Opera House, creates many spaces under and above it. Access to the different auditoriums on the complex is provided by roads surrounded by this shell, while outside the structure there are garden terraces, cafes and restaurants. These spaces are connected by promenade balconies, stairs and elevators. At the same time, the Valencia Opera House is completely open to the public. Tickets are only needed when entering performance halls. So everyone in the city can experience this public structure.
Architect: Santiago Calatrava
Location: Valencia, Spain
Year of construction: 1995-2005